Morality and Social Dilemmas in Society
Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM (PDT)
- Chair: Angela C. M. de Oliveira, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Status and Trust in Representative Leaders: A Lab-in-the-Field Experiment in Rural Sarawak
AbstractWe study the role of representative leadership where one agent acts as the representative of a group of team-producers in their joint interaction with outsiders. We study leaders who can secure value for joint team output, for example, by negotiating prices with buyers or bargaining for funds from government agencies. In such cases, leaders can extract rents for themselves, and the interactions thus require trust by followers. We introduce a new sequential public goods game that captures the different functions of leaders and followers. In this setting, we study whether mutual trust emerges, and whether groups are able to use trust relationships to improve group outcomes. We further examine if the effectiveness of leadership is influenced by relative status rankings of leaders and followers. We implement our one-shot experimental game in rural Sarawak where villages have established status hierarchies, and where such leadership roles are relatively new. We find that leaders are very prosocial, more than are followers. Moreover, leaders’ efforts are increasing in their status. Overall, status does increase efficiency. We also present results from a lab experiment designed to study behaviour in repeated interactions. However, the anonymity of the lab implies that we do not study the influence of status in this case.
Information and Collective Action in Angolan Schools
AbstractA growing literature demonstrates that community driven development (CDD) interventions could be a solution to local accountability problems. We conduct field and lab experiments in Angolan schools with the objective to increase parental participation in the educational process and ultimately improve the performance of teachers and students. The experiments isolate the role that collective action problems play in hindering bottom-up accountability within schools, as opposed to (or in addition to) lack of information. We implemented randomized control trials (RCTs) where we either gave parents information on school quality, or we mobilized them through community gatherings at the school level, or both. In order to measure behavioral changes in parents’ willingness to jointly monitor teachers, we conducted lab in the field experiments with parents and teachers where the act of monitoring and punishing teachers is modeled as a social dilemma.
Civic Engagement as a Second Order Public Good: An Experiment
AbstractEffective states solve the problem of financing provision of public goods by mandating contributions in the form of taxes and imposing penalties for non-compliance. However, government might tax and provide public goods accountably only if enough citizens are civically engaged. We study the voluntary cooperative underpinnings of the accountable sanction imposing state by conducting a two-level public goods experiment in which civic engagement can build a sanction scheme to solve the first order public goods dilemma. We find that when civic engagement costs are low relative to the benefits of public good provision, the overall dilemma problem is tractable, though it is never privately profitable to civically engage. In addition to a small average cost-to-benefit ratio, local social interaction among participants boosts cooperation.
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
University of East Anglia
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- D9 - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics